The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is hoping to immediately conduct cloud seeding operations over Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija noting water level there is now “very low” at 176.14 meters.
NIA-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS) Department Manager Rosalinda Bote said they are currently working in collaboration with various branches of government for the immediate implementation of the cloud seeding program, maintaining the level is way below the dam’s normal of 216.0 meters.
She explained the lack of sufficient rainfall and high water consumption due to irrigation contributed to the depletion of the reservoir.
Bote further noted the lack of enough supply from the Atate Dam and the Peñaranda Dam, which services Division II and IV respectively, also drained the Pantabangan Dam.
Farmers who are part of the irrigators’ associations within the service area of NIA-UPRIIS are aware of the current situation.
“We are expecting their cooperation to maximize rainwater and drainage re-use. (We also encourage them to) use pumps as needed,” Bote said.
The rotational use of irrigation water is already being implemented in the various divisions, she added.
She assured the farmers who have already planted rice that NIA will “do everything to meet the need for irrigation,” adding the possible arrival of La Niña in the coming months may eventually help restore water in the Pantabangan Dam.